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Joseph’s decision to kick a field goal on 4th-and-1 considered epically bad

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At least as “game-winning percentages” go, Vance Joseph made the worst coaching decision since 2011, according to edj sports.

Cleveland Browns v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The Vance Joseph era keeps ushering in new records...and not the good kind.

And now it turns out that just about every fan’s least favorite 4th down call by Joseph on Saturday night was actually epically bad.

Bad enough to be called the “largest error on record” by edj sports. It must be noted that “on record” only dates back to 2011, so if like me, you’re thinking “that cannot be the worst one EVER” then you’d be right.

But it’s also noteworthy that Joseph’s play call “for points” on 4th-and-1 from Cleveland’s 6-yard line statistically had a 33 percent chance of helping the Broncos win the game, compared to 49 percent if they went for a touchdown.

From edj sports:

“In the closing minutes of a game that the Broncos needed to win to remain in playoff contention, head coach Vance Joseph faced a crucial decision. ...Even as Brandon McManus sent the ball between the uprights, the decision to kick a field goal was a terrible mistake. ...The Broncos realized 26.7 percent Game-Winning Chance by kicking it in that situation. If the Broncos had gone for it instead, they would have realized 59.8 percent GWC.”

Furthermore, edj sports noted that since the offense only needed one yard for first-and-goal, that would have allowed the team to run more clock with more chances to get the go-ahead touchdown.

“The safe option hopes, or perhaps assumes, that the Browns don’t score again, which is no certainty.” edj sports reported. “A failed fourth down conversion also has residual value in terms of field position and the possibility of regaining possession via safety.”

Of course this kind of epically bad decision got the attention of Deadspin, which had a more abrupt “take” - and a lot funnier:

“Instead of going for it — even after back-to-back runs by running back Phillip Lindsay picked up just two combined yards—Joseph elected to kick a field goal. Which meant that, rather than try to get one yard just six yards from the end zone, Joseph chose to put his team in a position of having to make a stop and score again in a low-scoring game. Which is some ancient-ass thinking.”

Ancient-ass thinking.

Especially when there is definitely no guarantee your quarterback can engineer a game-winning drive (which it didn’t) if the defense were to get the ball back (which it did).

Also dumbass thinking when the GM you are coaching for is John Freaking Elway - the QB who twice led his Broncos’ team in miraculous, gutsy, comeback wins over this same Browns franchise 30 years ago.